SAMBALPUR: The Mahanadi war is set to add to the rising temperature of western Odisha with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) planning to play up the issue ahead of 2019 General Elections. The ruling party aims to isolate BJP, which has a substantial presence in western Odisha, from the people by highlighting the decreasing water flow in Mahandi river.
The BJD will flag off its ‘Mahanadi Surakhya Abhijan’ on May 16. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will launch the campaign from Chikili in Ambhabhona block of Bargarh district and Sukhasoda in Lakhanpur block of Jharsuguda district simultaneously.
The party MLAs will lead the rally which will have stopovers at Bargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Boudh. Publicity vans fitted with LCD TVs will accompany the rally to exhibit a documentary on Mahanadi river. Besides, a ‘Maha Arati’ of the river has also been proposed at Sambalpur.
Labour Minister Sushanta Singh will lead the rally from Chikili and hand over the reins to Bargarh MLA Debesh Acharya. He will lead the rally till Attabira where Handlooms Minister and local MLA Snehangini Chhuria will take over and proceed towards Sambalpur. Similarly, WODC Chairman Kishore Mohanty and former MLA Anup Sai will lead the rally from Sukhasoda to Jharsuguda en route to Rengali from where legislator Ramesh Patua will take charge for onward journey to Sambalpur. From Sambalpur, the two rallies will unite and proceed to Sonepur through Rairakhol and Birmaharajpur Assembly segments in Sonepur.
Bike-borne members of youth and student wings of the BJD will also lead the rally. Working president of BYJD Sanjit Mohanty has already held preparatory meetings in Bargarh, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Boudh districts and urged youths and students to join the rally in large numbers.